Preparing for Ordinary Sunday 12B

In Uncategorized on June 17, 2009 at 12:18 pm

How often have you felt all was turbulent and chaotic around you?

The story of Jesus stilling the storm touches something real and visceral about life and grief and anger and anguish.  How often might we have said with the disciples, “do you not care that we are perishing?”

Like Job, we press our case with God; and Almighty God speaks words that seem aloof, unapproachable.  Our literal or metaphorical day in court does us precious little good.  Who can argue with God?

This morning, Jesus is woken by his terrified disciples, caught with them in the maelstrom of a sudden storm.  This has mythic creation story echoes, of course: the idea that chaotic waters preceded life has both biblical and scientific resonance.

But this is a story of the Incarnation.  Jesus is not removed from the swell, the sweat and swearing.  He says to the wind and waters – and to us – “Peace! Be still!” – and against all reason, they are.  Are we?

Without being overly simplistic, or unhelpfully trite, do we allow ourselves to have the presence of mind when all is unfolding appallingly, to hear those words in our hearts?  Peace.  Be still.

Our faith is very often found unequal to our fear, let alone our distress, but Jesus challenges us, comforts us, calls us to dare believe what we profess.  And in that to touch the peace of God, which passes all understanding.

Walter Hilton, 14th Century mystic, wrote words that speak to me of Incarnate God sailing with us in our shaky vessel on dark and turbulent waters:
Jesus, you are both love and light,
and you are in the darkness
whether it brings pain or peace.
You are at work in my soul.
You move me to anguish with desire and longing for your light,
but as yet I do not rest in your love.

That rest, that peace, is our life’s work.  And our hope for eternity.


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